Syrian state television has broadcast pictures showing, it said, police officers killed in anti-government fighting in Jisr al-Shughour.
The government said 120 security personnel were killed by rebel gunmen. But people living there claim the dead officers had mutinied and were killed by government forces as they stood alongside the protesters.
One man was shown on state television calling for the army to intervene because, he said, life at the moment there is ‘hell on earth.’
It appears that the town saw some of the bloodiest fighting of the 12-week uprising against the Assad regime. Independent verification is impossible as most foreign media have been banned from Syria.
There has been a stream of refugees seeking safety in Turkey.
A group promoting coverage of the anti-government movement sent euronews images of refugees near the border. They said the security forces attacked them and killed their relatives.
Half of those who crossed the border at the weekend had been wounded. Turkish authorities have sent ambulances to the frontier in anticipation of more casualties.